Egretta novaehollandiae, White-faced Heron,

Written by on November 19, 2010 in Indonesia Bird with 0 Comments
Egretta novaehollandiae, White-faced Heron, Kuntul Australia

Description: The White-faced Heron Egretta (Ardea) novaehollandiae is the most commonly seen heron in Australia and has a length of 66�69 cm. It is a medium/large sized pale grey bird with dark flight feathers giving a two-tone effect to the wings in flight. The head is grey with white around the eyes and it has a white stripe on the throat. The primaries are black, while the breast has chestnut nuptial plumes. The upper feathers are bluish grey, which is why it is also known as the Blue Crane. The iris is yellow, the bill is dark brown, the legs and feet are olive-yellow. Both sexes are similar in appearance, while immature birds have grey feathers in place of the nuptial chestnut plumes and white face.

Habitat: Ranges from tropical to cool temperate shallow fresh to salt water all over Australia. They may be observed resting in trees or feeding in shallow water at; coastal mud flats & beaches, urban ponds, river-banks, farm dams and shallow wetlands such as at Bushy Park.

Flight: Slow flapping 1 beat per second with neck usually folded and feet trailing behind. Two tone grey and dark underwing feathers.

Voice: A harsh gravelly croak.

Food: Their diet consists of: fish, rats, small reptiles, eels, frogs, yabbies, freshwater snails & molluscs, aquatic insects and their larvae. They quickly straighten their curved neck and catch prey with their stout long bill. When mice and grass-hoppers are in plague proportions the White-faced Heron thrives. They usually hunt in pairs or small flocks but breed in colonies.

Range of White-faced Heron

Breeding: The main breeding season is from September to December. Colonies are usually small – five to 10 pairs, but may be quite large. The site may be dead trees near water or in leafy trees a short distance from water. They construct an untidy nest from a bulky shallow platform of sticks 5-12 metres high in the tree. The usual clutch is 3-5 pale smooth dull greenish-blue eggs 48x35mm. The chicks hatch in 24 to 25 days and fledge after 38 to 42 days.Egretta novaehollandiae, White-faced Heron, Kuntul Australia

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